Christmas Spirit (Philippians 2:5)

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How would you define “the Christmas spirit”? Would it be a friendly smile between strangers, the sound of familiar carols, a tree with twinkling lights in a sea of brightly wrapped packages, or just that good feeling you get this time of the year?

None of these elements captures the real meaning of the phrase. They represent feelings that may be a response to the commercialism that distorts the real spirit of Christmas.

James Innell Packer goes to the heart of this matter in his book Knowing God. He writes, “We talk glibly of the Christmas spirit, rarely meaning more by this than sentimental jollity …. It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the [temperament] of Him who for our sakes became poor, … the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor – spending and being spent – to enrich their fellowmen, giving time, thought, care, and concern to do good to others … in whatever way there seems need.

In Philippians 2, Paul described the God of heaven and earth as laying aside His divine glory and becoming our servant by dying on the cross for our sins. Then he urged us to duplicate that same mind of humble service to others. That’s the true Christmas spirit. – Dennis J. De Haan

If we look beyond the manger

To the cross of Calvary,

We will know the reason Christmas

Brings such joy to you and me. – D. J. De Haan

The spirit of Christmas giving should be seen in all our living.

  • December 1, Vol. 13, Our Daily Bread